This paper published in the journal Agricultural Engineering describes the findings of a feasibility study on groundwater recharge, which was undertaken through two recharge tube wells constructed in the bed of old Sirsa branch canal in North East Haryana. Overexploitation of groundwater resources and the decline in water table have been found to be cause of serious concern in parts of India. Decline of water table makes pumping of groundwater more costly, difficult and increases uncertainty about availability of fresh water.
The situation demands recharging of freshwater zones in declining water table areas with artificial means to maintain the groundwater table at optimum levels. Artificial recharge is important for groundwater management as it provides storage space free of cost, avoids evaporation losses and allows the use of stored water in dry seasons.
Several methods of groundwater recharge like spreading, pit, induced recharge and well method are practiced. The area requirement of spreading method sometimes limits its use. Artificial recharge by wells has been attempted in India only during the last decade. The recharge/ injection tube wells directly feed depleted aquifers with fresh water from ground surface. The recharge through this technique is fast and has no transit losses or evaporation losses.
The location and depth of recharge tube wells were selected based on the results of the resitivity survey to ensure better chances of recharge due to presence of pervious strata in the aquifer. Filter pit was provided to prevent the entry of sediments and suspended solids in recharging water.
The study found that the recharge tube wells performed well during the entire experimental period covering two monsoon seasons without any drastic reduction in recharge rate. An average recharge rate of 10.5 l/s due to individual recharge tube well was observed, which was reasonably good.